Today we’d like to introduce you to Rasheed Metellus.

Rasheed, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I first started getting into art way back in kindergarten when a teacher of mine told my mother that I would be an amazing artist one day. Those words of encouragement backed with my mothers support pushed me to focus on art ever since then. The following year she took me out of the public school system and put me into a homeschool program for five years. I used that time to develop my skill at a very young and with no outside distractions and influences. That time was mostly spent either watching cartoons/anime, playing Nintendo or just doodling. All my influences show in my work.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do? Why? And what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My art is a mix of pop art, and video game influenced themes. I love colorful palettes preferably pastel colors on the lighter side of the spectrum. Behind each piece of art is an underlining theme which deals with spirituality and ego or where my current headspace is at the time. Every piece has a reoccurring character I created to personify a feeling or my ego itself. I gave my ego a name (Goliath) because I feel like at times my ego can identify with the biblical giant who was taken down by a boy and a slingshot, but at times my ego will have another name (Israel) which was given to a man who wrestled with God and won. When people look at my work, I would want them to identify with my characters and not to take anything at the surface level.

Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
Social media has made it easier for artists to have a platform to share their work, but in this day and age, it doesn’t matter if your work is good if you aren’t consistent. Also, authenticity has become such a rarity these days — everyone following trends and riding waves without really bringing anything new to the table. As for supporting local artists, I feel like as the city grows with new developments, they should contract more local artists to paint in and out of each building. Every room and wall should be dedicated to an artist so that way the art culture grows with the city.

2018 Interview with VoyageMIA